We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Blanaru and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Pick a phrase + get it on a shirt! GUNS R BLAZIN launched with a clear intention to inspire others while looking good in the process. The idea of putting a custom phrase on a t-shirt once ruled the 80’s shopping mall scene. GRB upgrades this vibe and matches an extra sexy t-shirt template, with a phrase of your choice from volumes of album art menus. There are over 100 phrase options to choose from, ranging from uplifting to borderline bonkers, so get ready to laugh while being inspired at the same time. Choosing a phrase is a lot of fun and these tees make great gifts! You can also request a personalized phrase by reaching out via email (email@example.com), or sending a direct message on Instagram (@gunsrblazin). I recently added some sick logo tees to the online store, as well as distressed hats – they look awesome and fit great! For a limited time, get 10% off your entire order at GUNSRBLAZIN.com by using discount code “GRB10” at checkout.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a sensory person who enjoys the experience of taking in my environment and staying as present as possible. Along with this openness, comes a strong curiosity to understand more about other people and the world around me. I try to absorb many types of things, but prefer to let the important ones inspire me, such as: great music, vivid colors, ocean air, magical sunsets, and deep connections with ancient souls.
Being creative allows free flowing energy to radiate from your deepest soul. It creates a safe atmosphere to express yourself in an authentic way, and can lead you on a path to inner healing. We feel different, and are sometimes changed, after experiencing art forms that resonate deeply within us. For this reason, music is a massive source of inspiration and a key element to my creative process. I love the way music feels and how it guides me in different directions while making art. During lockdown, I started cataloguing music from different genres into 2 distinctive playlist series on Spotify (profile search: Josh Blanaru): “Music That Feels Good” and “Night Vision”. There are multiple editions under each playlist name, and I often use them as a soundtrack for everyday life. I enjoy sharing music with others and bonding over songs that actually make us feel something.
Photography is also a big passion of mine. I am magnetically drawn to abstract silhouettes, complex shadows, and mysterious shapes. I love accidental patterns in everyday life, and enjoy capturing these images in a unique way that tells a story. I like the idea of creating something that hasn’t existed before, or reinterpreting the norm in an interesting way. I’m a better listener than talker, so showing how I perceive my environment comes more natural for me.
Last but not least, creativity has led me right to this special moment where YOU are reading this. Thank you for taking the time to read about GUNS R BLAZIN – I hope you’ll join me on this meaningful journey to live in truth + be free forever!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles, and the surrounding area, has a rich culture of diverse people and offers many different worthwhile experiences. Here’s my personal top 10:
(1) Amoeba Records in Hollywood – check out the extensive music collection and assortment of vintage band tees. (2) E.P. & L.P. in West Hollywood – rooftop drinks with awesome views of the city! (3) Mini golf at Castle Park in Sherman Oaks – they also have an awesome arcade with air hockey. (4) Watch a movie at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – it sounds creepy but it’s an amazing experience! (5) Take a drive up Highway 1 – start in Santa Monica and head north through Malibu, then make a final stop in Zuma Beach to watch the sunset. (6) Enjoy a meal at Moonshadows Malibu around sunset – the food, the view, and the sunset experience are not to be missed! (7) Watch a concert at the Hollywood Bowl – it’s a spacious outdoor venue and a great place to watch your favorite band. (8) State Social House – a fun sports bar on the Sunset Strip. (9) Hermosa Beach Pier – I love the walk from Hermosa Beach Pier up to Manhattan Beach Pier. (10) The Last Bookstore in downtown L.A. – the largest new and used bookstore in California.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shoutout to those who don’t fit neatly into one category, or consider themselves to be “different”. I’ve never fit neatly into one category because my “identity” is based on a variety of components, not just my career or other divisive checkboxes. I’d like to think people are more than just who they date, what they believe, or how they present themselves to the world – especially on social media – because that messaging can be subconsciously tainted by things like societal programming and unrealistic expectations. We are all here with our own unique DNA sequence – which means each of us truly has something special to offer the world. It’s important to not let anyone make you feel like you’re not good enough or worthy, because you matter and are worthy of love!